Maria Karacholova


Member of the financial services law practice

A Counsel to the financial services law practice, with more than ten years of experience in the field of banking and capital markets law and regulation, as well as M&A.

Maria Karacholova


Maria is a seasoned banking and capital markets lawyer.

She advises Bulgarian and international credit institutions and other financial sector entities in relation to bank supervision, prudential requirements, including structuring of regulatory capital instruments such as AT1 and T2, BRRD (in particular MREL requirements and structuring of MREL instruments), PSD II matters, e.g. EMIs licensing; DCM transactions, including matters related to structured products and securitization.

Maria also advises banks in relation to derivative and repurchase agreements, including on their regulatory treatment.

She is also highly experience in financial sector M&A transactions, having advised on the acquisition or sale of banks and EMIs.

Maria also advises financial sector clients in relation to sustainable finance ESG compliance broadly.

Maria has taken part in some of Bulgaria’s most significant capital markets transactions and financial sector M&A deals: advising in 2022 and 2023 five banks in relation to MREL bond issuance and borrowing; – advising a banks as issuers under a EUR 130 million AT1 Program; advising a bank for  EUR 10 million T2 notes (being the first tranche of an up to EUR 30 million series); advising the sell-side in an M&A deal for the sale of Transact Europe in 2022 (a licensed e-money institution), and more.

Prior to joining the firm Maria acted as head of the international legal affairs team of a major Bulgarian bank, where she took charge of the legal aspects of several pioneering projects such as: leading the legal work for the structuring of the issue of the first AT1 notes in Bulgaria, M&A transactions in the financial sector, ISDA Master Agreement negotiation, and Fintech projects. In addition, Maria has prior experience as legal researcher in relation to banking prudential regulation in the Frankfurt office of one of the most prominent German law firms, in 2016.

Professional Activities

  • Maria is a member of the Sofia Bar Association since 2007.

She holds an LL.M. degree from the University of National and World Economy, Sofia, Bulgaria (2005), and an LL.M. Finance degree from the Institute for Law and Finance, Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany (2017)

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